If you believe you have grounds for filing a personal injury case in the state of California then you likely have many questions. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we encourage you to contact a personal injury attorney sooner rather than later to get the answers you are looking for. There are many reasons to call us now at 800-333-0000, including the fact that the statute of limitations may affect your ability to file a claim.
The Basics of the Statute of Limitations
Put simply, the statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to pursue compensation after you are injured in an accident. You can picture a huge clock starting right at the moment of the accident. There is only so much time that can pass until you will no longer be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation. Keep in mind as you learn more about the specifics that there are always exceptions and it is worth call us even if it seems the statute of limitations has passed.
The Purpose of the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is not an arbitrary thing – it exists for several reasons. First, it is to ensure that the best evidence is used. If a personal injury lawsuit is filed ten years after a car accident takes place, the defendant will not likely have many options to obtain evidence in their defense. Second, it exists to encourage plaintiffs to file lawsuits quickly. Finally, the statute of limitations exists to prevent people from filing frivolous lawsuits.
The Length of Statutes of Limitations Depend on the Case
There are several different statues of limitations that may apply to your case. If the case involves any type of injury then you will generally have two years from the date of the injury. If the case only involves property damage then you will have three years. Medical malpractice cases generally have three years form the date of the injury or one year from the date the injury was discovered.
A parent of a child with a birth injury must file their claim before their child’s eighth birthday. In the event of a wrongful death case, you will have two years from the date of your loved one’s death.
There Are Exceptions to the Statutes of Limitations
Of course, the rules above are general and do not apply to 100% of cases. In some instances, such as cases against a government entity, you may have less time to file a lawsuit or notice of claim. In other instances, such as cases in which you did not realize you had suffered an injury, the statute of limitations may be lengthened.
This is why it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you discover you have been injured, no matter how much or how little time has passed. Call The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now for your free legal consultation.